I saw this ugly sweater and thought of you:: a scrappy satchel how-to

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I think I actually said something like that to a friend of mine when I bought this sweater at a thrift store last summer.  Not that she, in a million years of time traveling back to the '80's, would ever wear this sweater.  I just thought it would make a perfect winter satchel.  And that she would like it.

Do you see why I thought of her? (yes, I'm talking about you, Jenna.)

Think you can find a scrappy sweater for a satchel while it's still winter? That's Step 1.

Step 2:  Cut out the front and back of sweater to the same dimensions as your want your bag, plus an inch seam allowance in each direction.  Cut a liner fabric the same width and four inches longer on the height (this allows for the top liner to be folded over for the top edge of finished bag).

Step 3: Sew sides and bottom of sweater fabric  with right sides together. Sew sides and bottom of liner fabric wrong sides together.

While sweater fabric is still inside out, trim extra sweater fabric around edges and corners to take away the bulkiness.                  

Step 4:  Turn sweater fabric right-side out.  Leave the liner fabric seam-side out and place inside sweater pouch.

***Just a free tip from Pajama Mama here, at this point, I usually drop something of some weight in the bag, like my scissors, or a small toy.  I hate it when the liner slides up when I'm not paying attention and ends up a few inches shorter than the outer bag.  Hate it.  What?  You always pay attention?  pppphhhh.

Step 5:  Fold the liner over twice. (the photo below is folded only once)


Step 6:  Stitch along the bottom of fold around the entire bag.


Step 7:  You're so close!  Now just salvage any extra sweater fabric that you can for the strap.  I cut up one side, across the top, and back down the other side.  My dimensions were something like 5 inches by  a million inches.  Really. I didn't measure.  I did sling it over my shoulder to see if it was close to what I wanted.  Capiche?  Good.

***Another PJ tip: Consider cotton or canvas webbing for the strap if your sweater fabric is super stretchy.  I can just imagine Jenna carrying a boat-load of diapers and wipes in her sweater satchel and finding it below her knees.  Really helpful, Satchel.  Thanks.

Stitch down one edge of scrap strap fabric, with wrong-sides together.  Turn out to right-side until you get arthritis.  Then take a break and finish later.

Step 8, or 25, depending on what you consider a "step": Attach strap however you like.  Inside, outside, whatever.  Can you tell why I don't do tutorials?  I get burned out on the typing of the steps.  Anywhoo, I tucked in the unfinished edges of the strap and stitched a rectangle around the top, sides and bottom where the strap and bag meet.

Not perfect, but not bad for under an hour including the photo-shoot.

I'm linking this post to Kimba'sDIY Day & Kim's Get Your Craft On-check them out!

Of bread and aprons

Monday, January 25, 2010

My kids have been on a baking kick.  They start asking to make something right after their first PopTart. Maybe if we made a nutritious breakfast they wouldn't be so starved for baking.  But it's so easy to send them to the pantry while I put in my contacts and start the coffee maker.  sigh.

I caved today and decided since I had lemons sitting in our fruit bowl, we would use them for something other than a drink garnish.  I think it was called Lemon-Yogurt Snack Bread.  The kids devoured it right after this picture was taken.  I liked it alright, but it could have been sweeter to satisfy my brand of tooth.

This is what I wore while I was being domestic with my brood.  My mother divvied up her apron collection over the holidays.  This one is made from an awesome vintage nautical themed fabric with orange accents.  I adore it.

And I adore all of you.  Thank you for all your sweetness from my last post.  I was able to be there for the funeral, and spend some serendipitous time with my family in my favorite state, the Garden State.  Hey, don't knock it.  It's got some sweetness all of it's own.

Unrelated:  Did any of you catch Conan's last Tonight Show?  His farewell speech was no less than moving.  


Death is a lot like birth

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My grandmother just died.  It's 2:30 in the morning, and I thought once I heard, that I'd be able to sleep.  But here I am huddled in the dark with my laptop and my thoughts, hoping not to wake anyone.

The last time I saw my Grandma was over the holidays. She gave me directions to the library to return books for her.  As I said goodbye, I knew it was likely I would not see her again.  But I had no idea that the woman handing me her books was just weeks from death.

It was quick.  But for my parents who sat with her day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute, it was long.  And as I've sat 1500 miles away and prayed for my Grandmother over these last weeks my mind has returned over and over to this idea:

Death is a lot like childbirth.

Both are painful, unpredictable and hard.  Some are quick, others the pains of labor are much longer.  But also like childbirth, the labor is necessary for the passage into a new life.  I've prayed for a quick labor for my Grandmother, for her birth into the eternal world.

And that birth is definitely worthy of celebration.

This morning, she is waking in Heaven.  There is no doubt in my mind and I am truly happy for her.

    Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)
    1 Corinthians 15:54-57 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT)
So here's to celebrating in the dark-  Happy Birthday, Grandma!

This is a Tuesday's Unwrapped post.

Linkage:: SCARF Tutorials

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have absolutely no patience for sewing right now.  I just got into minor fisticuffs with my Brother SE270 over a zigzag stitch gone ugly.  But I just know that will end soon.  Right?  



Yeah, that's what I thought. 

So here are a few scarves on my growing list of things to try before it's too hot to wear a scarf in Texas:


Joy Beadworks




Lovely, aren't they?


Call it nesting...

Monday, January 11, 2010

No phone call yet...but I just know it will be this week!

Meanwhile, here's me playing on Polyvore, daydreaming of a girls' room...

The Girls' Room

The Girls' Room by kristensunna on Polyvore.com

What are you all doing this week?  Anyone else nesting?


Home Hair Cuts Gone Bad.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Man, I just casually mention I cut my bangs.  Never intending to ever post my bangs.  Ever.  Then you people have to comment about seeing them.  And I'm such a sucker for comments, that here I am posting a picture of me standing in my bathroom.  Sucker.

Yeah, so the side swept bangs lasted for oh, maybe, 6 hours when I gave myself whiplash from keeping them out of my eyes.  Really how do those Zach Efron teenager people live like that?  No fashion slave am I.

So I parted my bangs and this here is the look that is sticking.  Camera strategically positioned to cover my adult acne.  Nice.

Now, not even an hour after I took this picture, I walked in on my 6 year old daughter cutting her 4 year old brother's hair "just like Daddy's."  For those of you who don't know Daddy: Daddy shaves his head every Monday morning.   Awesome look for my man. Not so awesome for my little boy.

I called Daddy and told him.  He asked if I took pictures.  I blog, don't I?  So here's Boo before Belle got to far into her job:


Then I got the worst migraine I've ever had in my life.  Like thowing-up-with-an-eye-mask-on-migraine. Double nice.

And did I mention the phone rang?  Yup-heart was pounding, palms were sweating.  We won a 4-day, 3-night cruise to a wonderful destination, absolutely free.  As politely as I could, I asked the nice lady to take us off her list.

More New Years Cheer to follow.  Just got to get out of this funk first.

Two Calendars I Spent Money On This Year

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Each year Judy, our lovely State Farm Insurance Lady sends us a Norman Rockwell Calendar.  It's nice and we do use it.  So it never occurs to me to PAY for a calendar.  But I came across these two calendars recently and decided they were worth the money to try them.

The Well Planned Day is a homeschool and household spiral planner published by Home Educating Family.  Their website has a fullscreen preview, so you can see all the planning you can do with it!  And because I ordered this one now in the middle of the school year, it was half price, $12.47.

I heard of The 2010 Day-to-Day Sewing Calendar from another blogger who has two of her patterns in the set.  This is $7.49, which was just enough to get another order to $25 for the free shipping.

Neither of these companies are PajamaMama sponsors (yet...).  I get nothing for promoting them, just thought you might be interested in my findings! I also thought I'd show you that I'm capable of having a thought not centered on our adoption this week.  See, I went almost an entire post without mentioning the phone.  See?

Do you spend money on calendars or planners?

How to Guarantee The Phone Not To Ring

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Step 1: Never leave the house, even though your agency has every phone number you've ever been associated with.

Step 2:  Mentally calculate West Coast time, where your agency is, every 15 minutes.

Step 3:  Make husband leave family cell phone home, and keep checking for a signal and battery power on the hour.

Step 4:  Keep all house phones within reach at all times.

So far, this simple plan has worked for me.  

Yes, I'm going crazy.  But she is going to be worth it.  I just know it!


Repurposing Christmas Ornaments

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The tree is in the attic.  The stockings are dehung with care.  All but one ornament is tucked away for next December.  I saved this one from the the storage bin to admire all year.

Do you have any lingering Christmas?

Salvation comes from the LORD; May your blessing rest on your people.  Psalm 3:8
Hello all, and Happy 2010!  We are just back from a wonderful holiday visit where we saw lots of snow and loved ones.  Once I get through unpacking and finding a home for all our new toys, I will be back to posting more...can't wait!

and no, the phone has still not rung. {not that I made mr. smarty keep the phone on his person the entire trip or anything....}

oh, and I gave myself bangs {side swept ones} using a youtube video by someone named Kandee. and I love them {my bangs...and Kandee's videos.}!

How were your holidays?

2010 Book & Movie List

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I find myself always clicking on others' links to their book lists and movie lists in hopes to find either a good recommendation or a connection to those who have enjoyed the same things.

And I assume, if you have clicked on my list, you are looking for the same.

I hope you find both.

Books read in 2010:

  1. The Time Traveler's Wife
  2. The Kite Runner
  3. Rees Howells: The Intercessor
  4. Training Hearts-Teaching Minds
  5. The Book Thief
  6. Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance 
  7. A Thousand Splendid Suns  
  8. Creating Short Fiction  (in the process)
  9. If God is Good  (in the process)
  10. The Backyard Homestead (skimming)
  11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  12. It's All Good Hair
  13. A Case for Faith
  14. The New Square Foot Gardening
  15. Prayer for Beginners
  16. There are No Accidents
  17. Redeeming Love
  18. Steady Days
  19. The Help
  20. The Color Purple
  21. Where Are You Now?
  22. Priceless
  23. Scream-Free Parenting
  24. Born to Run
  25. Have a New Kid by Friday
  26. Take Three
  27. Take Four
  28. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
  29. My Father's Daughter
  30. At Home in Mitford
  31. Eat Pray Love
  32. Little Bee
  33. The Secret
  34. The Missing
  35. Choosing to See
  36. Digging to America
  37. The Telling
  38. Suicide by Sugar
  39. The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

Movies seen in 2010:

  1. Comedian
  2. Away We Go
  3. The Devil's Backbone
  4. 500 Days of Summer
  5. Fiddler on the Roof
  6. The Importance of Being Ernest
  7. The Conversation
  8. A Serious Man
  9. Good Hair
  10. The Hurt Locker
  11. Up in the Air
  12. New York, I Love You
  13. Monsoon Wedding
  14. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
  15. An Education
  16. Where the Wild Things Are
  17. The Blind Side
  18. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  19. Crazy Heart
  20. Funny People
  21. The Proposal
  22. Captain Abu Raed
  23. Invictus
  24. Reign Over Me
  25. The Last Station
  26. Eclipse
  27. The Last Song*
  28. Cop Out*
  29. Bounty Hunter*
  30. Date Night*
  31. Beautiful Losers
  32. Fame
  33. A Prophet
  34. Youth in Revolt
  35. Terribly Happy
  36. Time Traveler's Wife
  37. Do the Right Thing
  38. Murder on the Orient Express
  39. Paper Heart
  40. Sin Nombre
  41. Inception
  42. New In Town*
  43. Confessions of a Shopaholic*
  44. The Back Up Plan*
  45. District 9
  46. Herb & Dorothy
  47. The Baxter
  48. Art and Copy
  49. Paper Clips
  50. Last Chance Harvey
  51. My Flesh and Blood
  52. Hot Fuzz
  53. The Ghost Writer
  54. Moon
  55. Singles
  56. Tin Men
  57. Glengary Glenross
  58. Precious
  59. 8 Mile
  60. Gigantic
  61. Toy Story 3
  62. The Purple Rose of Cairo
  63. Moon
  64. Eat, Pray, Love
  65. Saving Sarah Cain
  66. It's Complicated
  67. The Other Guys
  68. Priceless
*saw on 18 hour plane trip :)
*or saw while Mr. Smarty was out of town :)

Have a book or movie list?  If we're kindred spirits, let me know,